Man charged in death of Newport News officer Katie Thyne waives preliminary hearing, has murder charge amended

Local News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The man charged with murder after the death of a Newport News police officer last year waived his preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

Vernon Green faced several charges in Katie Thyne’s death, including felony murder. That charge has been amended to second-degree murder and marijuana and eluding police charges were withdrawn Tuesday due to Green’s previous sentencing in federal court. Attorneys did not have comment on why Green’s murder charge was changed.

No evidence was heard in court on Tuesday due to Green waiving his preliminary hearing, but a grand jury will next determine when Green’s trial will be heard when they meet on June 14.

Had the preliminary hearing proceeded, court documents say 16 witnesses were set to take the stand. They range from Newport News residents to officers and forensic officials.

Police say Green tried to drive away during a traffic stop in January 2020, and Thyne was dragged for about a block by his car before it crashed into a tree, near 16th Street. She died a short time later at the hospital.

Green already pleaded guilty to federal gun and drug charges stemming from the traffic stop back in October 2020.

Last month, he was sentenced to 10 years for illegally having a gun and two years for having drugs in the car during the crash.

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